There are no discoverable historical records about Doctor Snooze, but we do see evidence of his influence. His name is emblazoned on every alarm clock and smartphone in the world. Whoever he was, the damage done by his philosophy of instant gratification by procrastination has become ingrained in our existence. Why bother to be burdened with a commitment to get up in the morning if it is too easy to be tricked into oversleeping? Doctors will tell you that the time spent in the morning between the first alarm and the second, third, and other subsequent snoozes is not healthy sleep anyway. Carpe Diem! Decide on the time to get up, then do it! Instead of a tool to actively manage time, we use this concept to manage our laziness.
We should explore new and better ways to use snooze technology where it is needed most instead of wasting it frivolously. What other places in our lives could we insert a comma-like pause to use it more effectively?
Anger Management – One situation that cries out for a snooze button within arm’s reach is when we are angry. A quote attributed to Ambrose Bierce tells us, “Speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” When angry coworkers, family members, or even total strangers confront us, the knee-jerk human response seems to be an escalation to win! Such situations are an ideal place for a snooze. This philosophy echoes Thomas Jefferson’s advice, “When angry, count to 10 before you speak. If very angry, a hundred.” It may be hard to judge the exact length of every individual’s anger snooze setting, but it is an excellent beginning; to pause and think before reacting. It would probably reduce road rage if we replaced the horn in the middle of the steering wheel with a snooze button.
Decision Making – Think about ways to creatively eliminate indecisiveness from our lives by using the snooze concept. Not being able to decide on alternative actions may be the result of many factors, but pausing to think about all the possible alternatives is one way to start. For some reason, we feel a need to act even if the timing is not right. Hit snooze! Think first about the consequences of making the wrong decision, and then consider the alternative paths. Self-brainstorming lets you find even the most obscure tracks before acting. Discover the hidden entrances and exits on the highway toward a goal and make important decisions based on fact, not emotion. Not doing anything is also a choice, but deciding not to decide can be a fatal decision if it’s going to either end of the decision-making spectrum; surrendering to procrastination or rushing headlong into action.
Curbing Impulses – In life, many reflexive actions require no thought, such as breathing, blinking, and hitting the send button. These are things we do automatically every day without even a heartbeat of hesitation. We have tools to check spelling and grammar, but there is no function to measure the intent of communication before releasing it into the wild. How about replacing the enter key with a snooze button? Just as you can’t unring a bell, you can’t always repair the damage done by hastily using the technology that has snared us and trained us on how to be a robot. If we only took a moment to shift into receiver mode and listen to what we are sending, we might not be so quick on the trigger by firing it off from our personal, narrow minded perspective. A conscious action will be more likely to hit the target than one randomly sent.
Budgeting Everything – The commitment of finite resources is another place we need to engage our snoozability. Money, time, and goodwill are difficult to recover after spending it. Marketers have perfected the art of selling us what we don’t want or need. Employers have fine-tuned the culture of managing corporate needs at the expense of the individual. Friends and family know how to leverage guilt and shame to lead us into relationship-areas of their choosing. There isn’t an all-inclusive list of resource suckers, but when we think about using our snooze button before acting, we get a chance to make it better.
Snoozing our way through life has its dark side just as mindlessly slapping the alarm clock in the morning. The key to being more alive comes from being awake, conscious, and decisive. When we insert a snooze-like concept into every action, we master the art of interpersonal relationships and gain control over our lives.
Go forth and be snoozerific!